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Sequential Decisions with Tests

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Author Info

  • David Gill
  • Daniel Sgroi

Abstract

We consider a principal-agent problem where the principal wishes to be endorsed by a sequence of agents, but cannot truthfully reveal type. In the standard herding model, the agents learn from each other`s decisions, which can lead to cascades on a given decision when later agents` private information is swamped. We augment the standard model to allow the principal to subject herself to a test designed to provide public information about her type. She must decide how tough a test to attempt from a continuum of test types, which involves trading off the higher probability of passing an easier test against the greater impact from passing a tougher test. We find that the principal will always choose to be tested, and will prefer a tough test to a neutral or easy one.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 242.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2005
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:242

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Related research

Keywords: Bayesian Updating; Endorsements; Herding; Sequential Decision-Making; Tests;

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References

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  1. Chiao, Benjamin & Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2007. "The Rules of Standard Setting Organizations: An Empirical Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 6141, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Raaj Kumar Sah & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1987. "The Architecture of Economic Systems: Hierarchies and Polyarchies," NBER Working Papers 1334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David Gill & Daniel Sgroi, 2004. "The Superiority of Biased Reviewers in a Model of Simultaneous Sales," Economics Series Working Papers 206, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Emmanuel Farhi & Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Certifying New Technologies," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 734-744, 04/05.
  5. Gill, D. & Sgroi, D., 2003. "The Superiority of Tough Reviewers in a Model of Simultaneous Sales," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0335, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  6. Gill, David & Sgroi, Daniel, 2010. "The optimal choice of pre-launch reviewer," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 1017, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  7. Sgroi, D., 2000. "Optimizing Information in the Herd: Guinea Pigs, Profit and Welfare," Economics Papers 2000-w14, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  8. Gill, D. & Sgroi, D., 2003. "Product Launches with Biased Reviewers: The Importance of Not Being Earnest," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0334, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  9. Smith, L. & Sorensen, P., 1996. "Pathological Outcomes of Observational Learning," Working papers 96-19, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  11. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2004. "A Model of Forum Shopping, with Special Reference to Standard Setting Organizations," NBER Working Papers 10664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Albano, Gian Luigi & Lizzeri, Alessandro, 2001. "Strategic Certification and Provision of Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(1), pages 267-83, February.
  13. Taylor, Curtis R, 1999. "Time-on-the-Market as a Sign of Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 555-78, July.
  14. Marco Ottaviani & Andrea Prat, 2001. "The Value of Public Information in Monopoly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1673-1683, November.
  15. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  16. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2006. "A Model of Forum Shopping," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1091-1113, September.
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Cited by:
  1. David Gill & Daniel Sgroi, 2011. "The Optimal Choice of Pre-Launch Reviewer," Economics Series Working Papers 562, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Alexei Parakhonyak & Nick Vikander, 2013. "Optimal Sales Schemes for Network Goods," Discussion Papers 13-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  3. Daniel Sgroi & Andrew J. Oswald, 2013. "How Should Peer‐review Panels Behave?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages F255-F278, 08.
  4. Gill, David & Sgroi, Daniel, 2008. "The Optimal Choice of Pre-launch Reviewer : How Best to Transmit Information using Tests and Conditional Pricing," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 877, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Ting Liu & Pasquale Schiraldi, 2012. "New product launch: herd seeking or herd preventing?," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 627-648, November.

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